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20120926
20121004
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1972. the raging unpopular war in vietnam consumed the bitter campaign battle between president nixon and george mcgovern. suddenly on october 26th, 12 days before the election, vietnam negotiator henry kissinger made a surprise declaration believed to cement nixon's front-runner status. >> we believe that peace is at hand. >> reporter: it was the first so-called october surprise. a late in the game campaign event with a significant impact on the election. >> in order to win re-election for nixon in 1972, he needed to end the vietnam war. and this was sort of the definetive statement. >> reporter: the most famous october surprise was in 1980. 52 u.s. hostages held in iran were not released before the election despite president carter's efforts. instead they were freed as soon as rsh was inaugurated setting off democratic suspicion never proven that reagan elm sears back chanld with iran in delaying freeing the hostages and denied the troubled carter campaign a huge pre-election boost. >> it fed into the whole dynamic of the 1980 race in that jimmy carter was a stumbling ineffective pr
that he gave while richard nixon continuously lost ground thereafter. the story goes that it was kennedy's tan, his youthful look that won him the first televised debate. do you think that's the full story? >> i think that's part of an lore. i think much more was this. before that first debate john kennedy was thought of as a young, not very distinguished absentee senator, junior senator from massachusetts debating against the vice-president of the united states who had stood up to kruschev. this marvelous debater. kennedy was able to not only match nixon but exceed him. people began to think of him as a possible president. >> are debates necessary for the democratic process? have the best debaters proven to be then the best presidents? >> they have in one sense. and that is one of the most important things you want from a president is someone who if he has to make a tough decision can go to americans and say, this may be unpopular with you but let me try to explain it, explain why it's the right thing to do. if a president doesn't have that he's not going to serve very well and the deba
Search Results 0 to 3 of about 4 (some duplicates have been removed)